Agassi Pulls Out of Davis Cup : Tennis: Injured chest muscle sidelines No. 2 player. Reneberg will be substitute.

From Associated Press

The United States will play for the Davis Cup title against Russia this week without Andre Agassi.

The world’s No. 2 player has an injured chest and the U.S. Tennis Association announced his withdrawal Tuesday.

Agassi strained a chest muscle during the Davis Cup semifinals against Sweden in Las Vegas in September. He aggravated the injury during a tournament in Essen, Germany, last month and has not played since.

Agassi, who lost his No. 1 ranking to Pete Sampras during the layoff, will be replaced by doubles specialist Richey Reneberg.


Davis Cup captain Tom Gullikson is expected to use Sampras and Jim Courier for singles and Reneberg and Todd Martin for doubles.

The Russians, seeking their first Davis Cup trophy, will be represented by Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Alexander Volkov, Andrei Chesnokov and Andrei Olhovskiy.

The competition in Moscow begins Friday with two singles matches on the red clay of indoor Olympic Stadium.

The Russians defeated Germany in the semifinals, with Chesnokov saving nine match points against Michael Stich before clinching the fifth and decisive match.


The clay court became a source of controversy during the semifinals. The Germans accused the Russians of over-watering the surface to slow play, a move that eventually drew a warning from the International Tennis Federation.

“They’ll do whatever they can to make it as slow as possible,” Sampras told the Moscow Times newspaper. “We’ll have to check out the sprinkler system. I hope it’s broken.”